It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to [email protected] and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.
I have been diagnosed with acid reflux/heartburn. As I understand it, changing your diet will heal the sphincter area and then gradually go back on trigger foods, one at a time.
Do you have such a comprehensive diet that could help me get started?
You are correct that making lifestyle changes may help treat issues caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
At this time there is no definitive research about how well diet can actually heal the inflammation caused by GERD triggers. All we have is anecdotal evidence regarding this. What the research shows us is that the acid reflux triggers are very much individualized from person to person.
That said, I have had patient after patient who has made substantial changes in their diet who have had complete resolution of their GERD symptoms even with reintroduction of their trigger foods. The best strategy is to reduce those trigger foods, work on weight loss if this is an issue for you, and then gradually introduce your trigger foods one at a time.
There are a number of resources on the Dr. Gourmet web site to help you. All of our recipes are tagged if they contain ingredients that are common acid reflux triggers for people.
Thanks for writing,
Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS